Protecting Your Kids from Porn

As a parent, one of my priorities is to do whatever I can to protect my kids from porn addiction. Here are some of the things I do to help guard and equip my kids:


1. A great resource to get the conversation going is the book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. I started using it when my kids were around 10. It gives children steps on what to do if they see an inappropriate picture, such as close the device immediately and go tell an adult.



2. As long as the kids live at our house, we have complete access to their devices. I do random checks. We know their passcodes and if they change it and don’t tell us, they don’t get their device back until they do. One of my kids said, “What about my privacy?!” to which I responded, “Whatever gave you the impression you had privacy on your device? Assume I read and see everything you are doing.” It's not about invading their privacy, it's about loving them and protecting them.


3. Make sure their social media settings for things like TikTok and SnapChat are on private and that only people they know are in their friend list. Parents give their kids way too much freedom in their friend lists. If your child has 500 “friends,” you may want to re-evaluate what they are doing, because they are likely too concerned with appearing popular and you don’t know if these are kids you want your kids to be friends with anyway. (Or there could be adult preditors masquerading as children - a huge problem.)



4. The “Comments” sections for popular YouTubers, particularly ones that boys watch, are a real danger zone. Even if the Youtuber himself is one you have approved of, there are inappropriate pictures in the comments sections, with links to inappropriate sites. I tell my kids, “Never, ever, click on those links. Tell me when you see one.”


5. No devices in bedrooms or any other place with a closed door. Only in main rooms where we can see what is being played or viewed.


6. Awkward conversations are okay and need to happen. I regularly ask my kids if they have seen any inappropriate pictures or videos and to tell us if they have questions or are tempted or curious. They will not get in trouble. However, we are not constantly talking about it. It’s more of a once a week kind of thing. Be approachable and keep the conversation open. Look for teachable moments.



7. Explain that porn is addictive, just like drugs. Say no to drugs. Say no to porn. Walk away if offered either.


8. Care about their hearts. Spend time with them. Love them.


There are more, but these are some of the things I am doing to try and protect, teach, and warn my kids about the dangers of porn, in an age-appropriate and discerning way.


-Susan Penner